Story: Soil erosion and conservation

A soil profile

A soil profile

The varied layers of soil that you see when driving through a road cutting are known as a soil profile. The dark layer near the surface is the topsoil. It is usually dark because it contains organic matter – as well as most of the nutrients for plant growth. This is the layer with most plant roots. Below this is the subsoil, which can vary a lot in depth. It contains few nutrients, but can be a valuable source of moisture for plants during dry periods.

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Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: Go11845Rbt.jpg
Photograph by G. R. Roberts

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How to cite this page:

Paul Gregg, 'Soil erosion and conservation - Soil features and impact of erosion', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/19780/a-soil-profile (accessed 8 December 2019)

Story by Paul Gregg, published 24 Nov 2008